Luxury brand Versace closed its three last stores in Japan as a sign of the weak spending particularly in high-end brands as well as the high cost of real estate. This is also proof of the higher savings rate that prevails in the country. The company also said its departure from Japan is due to the fact that it “no longer represented the brand image.” There is no word yet as to when the brand would be back in the country. Their probably destination? China.
For decades, Japanese customers were drawn to pricey handbags and jewelry as symbols of upward mobility. In recent years, however, younger Japanese customers have begun to eschew the upscale tastes of older generations, turning instead to lower-priced fast fashion brands. Luxury-goods sales are expected to fall by 10% this year in Japan, according to a recent report published by the Bain & Company consultancy. In China, meanwhile, luxury sales are expected to climb by 7% due to the rising number of wealthy Chinese, the report said.
Versace is not alone. Louis Vuitton has also been thinking about its opportunities in Japan, recently canceling its plan to open a store in the Ginza shopping district.
The story here.